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I am with terrorism

Poem No.: 122 النص العربي: لا يوجد

We are accused of terrorism:

if we defended rose and woman

and the mighty verse ...

and the blueness of sky ...

A dominion .. nothing left therein...

No water, no air ..

No tent, no camel,

and not even dark Arabica coffee!!


We are accused of terrorism:

if we defended with guts

the hair of Balqis

and the lips of Maysun

if we defended Hind, and Da`d

Lubna and Rabab ..

and the stream of Kohl

coming down from their lashes like the verses of revelation.

You will not find with me

a secret poem

or a secret logos

or books I put behind doors.

I do not even have one poem

walking down the street, wearing veil.


We are accused of terrorism:

if we wrote about the ruins of a homeland

torn, weak ...

a homeland with no address

and an nation with no names


I seek the remnants of a homeland

none of its grand poems is left

except the bemoans of Khansa.


I seek a dominion in whose horizons

no freedom can be found

red .. blue or yellow.


A homeland forbidding us from bying a newspaper

or listening to the news.

A dominion wherein birds are forbidden

from chirping.

A homeland wherein, out of terror [ru`b],

its writers got accustomed to write about


A homeland, in the likeness of poetry in our lands:

It is vain talk,

no rhythm,


Ajam, with a crooked face and tongue:

No beginning

No end

No relation with people's worry

mother earth

and the crisis of man.


A dominion ...

going to peace talks

with no honor

no shoe.


A homeland,

men peed in their pans ..

women are those left to defend honor.


Salt in our eyes

Salt in our lips

Salt in our words

Can the self carry such dryness?

An inheritance we got from the barren Qahtan?

In our nation, no Mu`awiya, and no Abu Sufiyan

No one is left to say "NO"

and face the quitters

they gave up our houses, our bread and our [olive] oil.

They transformed our bright history into a mediocre store.


In our lives, no poem is left,

since we lost our chastity in the bed of the Sultan.


They got accustomed to us, the humbled.

What is left to man

when all that remains

is disgrace.


I seek in the books of history

Ussamah ibn al-Munqith

Uqba ibn Nafi`

Omar, and Hamzah

and Khalid, driving his flocks conquering the Shem.

I seek a Mu`tasim Billah

Saving women from the cruelty of rape

and the fire.


I seek latter days men

All I can see is frightened cats

Scared for their own souls, from

the sultanship of mice.


Is this an overwhelming national blindness?

Are we blind to colors?


We are accused of terrorism

If we refuse to die

with Israel's bulldozers

tearing our land

tearing our history

tearing our Evangelium

tearing our Koran

tearing the graves of our prophets

If this was our sin,

then, lo, how beautiful terrorism is?


We are accused of terrorism

if we refused to be effaced

by the hands of the Mogul, Jews and Barbarians

if we throw a stone

at the glass of the the Security Council

after the Ceasar of Ceasars got a hold of it.


We are accused of terrorism

if we refuse to negociate with the wolf

and shake the hand with a whore



Against the cultures of the peoples

with no culture

Against the civilizations of the civilized

with no civilization


a mighty edifice

with no walls!


We are accused of terrorism:

if we refused an era

America became

the foolish, the rich, the mighty

translated, sworn

in Hebrew.


We are accused of terrorism:

if we throw a rose

to Jerusalem

to al-Khalil

to Ghazza

to an-Nasirah

if we took bread and water

to beleaguered Troy.


We are accused of terrorism:

if we raised our voices against

the regionalists of our leaders.

All changed their rides:

from Unionists

to Brokers.


If we committed the heinous crime of culture

if we revolted against the orders of the grand caliph

and the seat of the caliphate

If we read jurisprudence or politics

If we recalled God

and read verse al-Fat-h

[that Chapter of Conquest].

If we listened to the Friday sermon

then we are well-established in the art of terrorism


We are accused of terrorism

if we defended land

and the honor of dust

if we revolted against the rape of people

and our rape

if we defended the last palm trees in our desert

the last stars in our sky

the last syllabi of our names

the last milk in our mothers' bosoms

if this was our sin

how beautiful is terrorism.


I am with terrorism

if it is able to save me

from the immigrants from Russia

Romania, Hungaria, and Poland


They settled in Palestine

set foot on our shoulders

to steal the minarets of al-Quds

and the door of Aqsa

to steal the arabesques

and the domes.


I am with terrorism

if it will free the Messiah, Jesus of Nazareth,

and the virgin, Meriam Betula

and the holy city

from the ambassadors of death and desolation



The nationalist street was fervent

like a wild horse.

The rivers were abundant with the spirit of youth.


But after Olso,

we no longer had teeth:

we are now a blind and lost people.


We are accused of terrorism:

if we defended with full-force

our poetic heritage

our national wall

our rosy civilization

the culture of flutes in our mountains

and the mirrors displaying blackened eyes.


We are accused of terrorism:

if we defended what we wrote

El azure of our sea

and the aroma of ink

if we defended the freedom of the word

and the holiness of books


I am with terrorism

if it is able to free a people

from tyrants and tyranny

if it is able to save man from the cruelty of man

to return lemon, olive tree, and bird to the South of Lebanon

and the smile back to Golan


I am with terrorism

if it will save me

from the Caesar of Yehuda

and the Caesar of Rome


I am with terrorism

as long as this new world order

is shared

between America and Israel



I am with terrorism

with all my poetry

with all my words

and all my teeth

as long as this new world

is in the hands of a butcher.


I am with terrorism

if the U.S. Senate

enacts judgment

decrees reward and punishment


I am with Irhab [terrorism]

as long this new world order

hates the smell of A`rab.


I am with terrorism

as long as the new world order

wants to slaughter my off-spring.

and send them to dogs.


For all this

I raise my voice high:

I am with terrorism

I am with terrorism

I am with terrorism ...

Nizar Qabbani

London, 15 April 1997.

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